Walcott Poetry Reading Sept. 27

Posted on September 27th, 2010 by

Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott, the 1992 Nobel Prize winner in Literature, will read from several of his poems at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27, in Jussi Björling Recital Hall at Gustavus Adolphus College.

People traveling to campus for this event should be aware that several highways and roads are closed in the St. Peter area due to flooding. Allow for extra travel time and check the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s website for the most current information (www.511mn.org).

The College will also confer an honorary doctorate degree upon Walcott during this free, public event. Walcott is in the middle of a three-week residency at Gustavus, as part of the College’s Rydell Professorship.

A poet, playwright, writer, and visual artist, Walcott was born on the island of St. Lucia in 1930. In 1959, he founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop and in 1981 he founded Boston  Playwrights’ Theatre at Boston University. Walcott retired from teaching poetry and drama in the Creative Writing Department at Boston University in 2007 and is currently in the middle of a three-year distinguished scholar-in-residence position at the University of Alberta.

Walcott has written more than 20 plays, but is best known for his epic poem, Omeros. The work is, in part, a Caribbean retelling of stories from Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad, interwoven with the history of colonialism on Walcott’s native island of St. Lucia along with the poet-narrator’s own transatlantic wanderings and musings. The multi-layered mosaic of the poem is mainly written in terza rima and has been widely praised for its imaginative scope and inventive use of language.

While Omeros remains Walcott’s most widely known work, he has published more than 20 volumes of poetry. In addition to his Nobel Prize, Walcott has won many awards for his poetry, including a Royal Society of Literature Award, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry, and a fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation.

The Rydell Professorship is a scholar-in-residence program designed to bring Nobel laureates and similarly distinguished scholars to the Gustavus campus as catalysts for enhancing learning and teaching. It was established in 1995 by Drs. Robert E. and Susan T. Rydell of Minnetonka, Minn., to give students the opportunity to learn from and interact with leading scholars.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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